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Center Club's Hops and Vines

An exclusive, private club opens its doors for charity once a year

Richard Ward

Victoria Collins celebrated her wedding in 1985 at the Center Club Orange County, the first-ever event held at the newly opened private club in Costa Mesa. Thirty years later, the Orange County philanthropist found herself the center of attention once again as she was honored for her passion for philanthropy at the Center Club’s 10th annual Charity Classic. The September fundraiser, themed Hops and Vines for the past two years, is a tradition for dozens of ClubCorp venues across the country. Since its inception, the city clubs have raised $17 million for charities.

This year, 300 guests at the Costa Mesa club raised nearly $30,000 for Augie’s Quest, ALS Therapy Development Institute, Anaheim Family YMCA, Center Club Cares, Employee Partner Care Foundation, Women Helping Women and YMCA of Orange County.

Ralph Rodheim, a well-known Balboa Island businessman diagnosed with ALS in 2013, was a guest of honor. “We are very honored that they thought of us. We are so involved with the quest for the cure,” his wife, Penny, said of the progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

The fundraiser, whose sponsors included Citizens Bank and Irvine-based Stifel, featured wines and craft beers. Guests dined on a buffet of roasted pork belly, Kobe New York steak and halibut Wellington while listening to music performed by “American Idol” contestant Adam Lasher. The popular event is the one night a year nonmembers get a glimpse of the business and social networking club founded by Henry T. Segerstrom. Member Shira Bush said the fundraiser showcases “one of the best city clubs I’ve ever been to.”

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